21st annual Spanish Fiesta set for Saturday, July 29

Photo courtesy Archuleta Seniors Inc. Al Hurricane Jr. will headline the 21st annual Spanish Fiesta, slated to be held July 29 at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds. Tickets are available online.

By Rose Chavez | PREVIEW Columnist

Join us at the 21st Annual Spanish Fiesta. 

This year we are getting things kicked off a bit early with some pre-Fiesta celebrations and free dancing lessons in downtown Pagosa Springs Thursday evening, July 27, at 6 p.m. at the San Juan Scenic Overlook located adjacent to Tequila’s (439 San Juan St.) along the Riverwalk. Free and open to the public, everyone is welcome to join in on the pre-Fiesta activities. 

The Archuleta Seniors Inc. (ASI) Spanish Fiesta Committee is partnering with the Pagosa Main Street board to bring a free pop-up tango dance lesson to the heart of downtown Pagosa on the eve of the fiesta. Get a small preview of what the fiesta will be on Thursday night, and don’t forget to purchase your tickets while you’re at it. 

We will have a food truck with Mexican snacks (aguas frescas, elote, ice cream, paletas, fruit cups and more) available for purchase between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

Then, bring yourself and/or your partner and get a few dancing tips from seasoned tango instructors Tina Valles and Dan Sorensen at 6 p.m. 

While much of the music Saturday at the fiesta will be more in the vein of New Mexican style, the tango dancing lessons are intended to pique your interest for all things Latin, including dancing, food and vibrant colors. Come experience and see the beautiful embrace and connection of the Argentine tango and you will similarly experience this Saturday when you dance to the canciones of Los Mitotitos and Al Hurricane Jr. and Band. 

Come and bring the whole family; there is something for everyone.

Food, music, dancing, libations, vendors, color and good company provide the ingredients of a party to delight all the senses. The Spanish Fiesta Committee (formed by the families and royalty of fiestas of years past) of ASI has worked hard to make this first year back memorable. 

The headliner for the day’s activities at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds this Saturday, July 29, will be the famous New Mexican artist Al Hurricane Jr. and his band. He is generously giving his own time to benefit the fundraiser. 

Activities begin at 3 p.m., but come earlier to get your seat and enjoy authentic Hispanic cuisine of southern Colorado and northern New Mexican plus a variety of other food trucks and artisan vendors. 

There will be music from local band Los Mitotitos and folklorico dance performances from local artists. While there will be no royalty during this first event, we look forward to engaging the community and youth to support the fiestas in this capacity once again. 

This year we are thrilled to bring you some of Pagosa’s best southwest cuisine from four different establishments. Indulge in a wide variety of flavors and experience the richness of our diverse cuisine.

You’ll be able to indulge in a delectable selection of Mexican delights from a local favorite including mouthwatering burritos, tacos, tostadas, tortas and gorditas. A hometown local will be making her handmade authentic tamales prepared with traditional flavors and ingredients. Our third establishment is a group of men and women from the local Catholic church preparing Navajo tacos with Colorado-raised pinto beans and your choice of authentic red and/or green chile. Save room for their delectable sopapillas drizzled with honey and cinnamon and mouthwatering bunuelos. Finally, enjoy refreshing cream- and water-based paletas, classic elote street corn served in a cup or on the cob, as well as other delightful street snacks like fruit cups. Don’t forget to quench your thirst with their delicious aguas frescas.

The beer, wine, margarita and michelada garden will be open all day. 

Proceeds from this event will support older adults of Archuleta County through the services of ASI and a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) youth scholarship fund. 

Admission is for an afternoon and evening from 3 to 8 p.m. filled with fun for all. To purchase tickets, visit https://givebutter.com/asispanishfiesta2023 or stop by the Pagosa Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Choke Cherry Tree or the Pagosa Senior Center located in the Ross Aragon Community Center. 

Interested in volunteering, being a sponsor or vendor? Please visit http://www.psseniors.org/events-and-fundraisers.html for more information or call (970) 264-2167.

Spanish Fiesta schedule of activities

Thursday, July 27

5 to 7 p.m.: There will be a pre-Fiesta celebration with Mexican snacks and free tango dance lessons at the San Juan Scenic Overlook, 439 San Juan St. Fiesta tickets will also be available for purchase.

Saturday, July 29

Location: Archuleta County Fairgrounds, 344 U.S. 84.

2 p.m.: Welcome, Fiesta grounds open, vendors open and food/drinks available for purchase.

3 p.m.: Folklorico dance performance.

4 p.m.: Los Mitotitos.

5:30 p.m.: Al Hurricane Jr. and Band first set.

7:15 p.m.: Folklorico dance performance.

8 p.m.: Al Hurricane Jr. and Band second set.

9:45 p.m.: End-of-evening thank yous and housekeeping. 

Farmers Market vouchers

Farmers Market vouchers for seniors are available. 

If you love to shop at the Farmers Market, are 60 or older, or if you are 200 percent of poverty, please call Debbie at (970) 403-2164 at the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) to put your name on the list for $50 in vouchers to redeem for local foods. 

Then, visit the Pagosa Farmers Market any Saturday during the growing season (June through September) to pick up your $50 voucher to support the local food artisans and growers in southwest Colorado and northern New Mexico. 

The Pagosa Farmers Market is located on the third row of the East Side Market and is open only on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through September. 

Senior conversations

Join us Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m. for a series of “Senior Conversations” with local Bill Salmansohn. 

He will lead the group through mindfulness exercises and discussion of various topics pertaining to aging in Archuleta County. Explore and discover for yourself answers to your questions and concerns. 

The meeting will be held at the Senior Center in the dining hall. Snacks will be provided.

Pagosa Springs
Scrapbooking Club

The Pagosa Springs Scrapbooking Club holds monthly meetings the second Saturday of each month at the Senior Center. 

It meets each month from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to be creative, share ideas, connect with friends, learn new techniques, share supplies and indulge in a potluck lunch together. 

Bring your scrapbooking projects — or any crafting project that you may want to work on with the group. If you would like to be added to the mailing list to receive notifications each month of the upcoming meeting along with handy tips and tricks for scrapbooking, please send your request to copenhavercreative@gmail.com.

Share lunch Monday through Thursday

Join us at the Silver Fox’s Den, aka the Community Cafe, in person for daily hot/cold meals Mondays through Thursdays downtown at the Community Center between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is open to all. Pickup is available all week, including Fridays. 

Our dining hall is open to all ages and welcomes you all with kindness and warmth. We provide hot/cold meals for anyone in the community interested in a nutritious and delicious meal. For those 60 or older we request a suggested donation of $10, but no one will be turned away. There is a $10 charge for guests under the age of 60. 

Meals include a main course, side dish, fruit/dessert, garden salad plus beverage. Some popular menu items include Frito chili pie, pork tenderloin with harvest chutney, Singaporean pork ribs, vegetarian lasagna, Hawaiian shrimp with coconut rice and always a beautiful green salad. Many of our items are locally sourced and organic. 

Our chef works with a team of local food professionals to hand-prepare your meal for dine-in service in our cozy dining room (with an amazing view of the San Juans) or for takeout (via our convenient drive-through). Our menu changes daily. 

To reserve your meal for the day, please make your reservation via text or phone call to (970) 264-2167 by 9 a.m. weekdays.

Community Cafe menu

Thursday, July 27 — Pork red chile Colorado, roasted herb potatoes, garden salad, fruit, banana brunch cake and milk.

Friday, July 28 — Chef salad with ham, turkey, cheese, avocado, egg and ranch dressing; broccoli and white cheddar soup; focaccia bread; blueberry cobbler; and milk. 

Monday, July 31 — Australian meat pie, broccoli cheesy rice, garden salad, Australian chocolate slice, kiwi fruit salad, milk and Vegemite.

Tuesday, Aug. 1 – Grilled ham steak with pineapple sauce, sweet potatoes, garden salad, milk, banana pudding and milk.

Wednesday, Aug. 2 — Fish tacos with cabbage and Baja sauce, cilantro rice, garden salad, milk, flan and fruit.

Thursday, Aug. 3 — BBQ chicken, creamed corn, southern biscuit, garden salad, milk, peach cobbler and fruit.

Friday, Aug. 4 — Minestrone soup with focaccia bread, garden salad, milk, vanilla pudding and fruit.

Grab-N-Go meals

Dine-in and Grab-N-Go meal reservations and cancellations are required. Please call or text by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you want to pick up a meal. A suggested donation of $10 helps to sustain our program. No one will be turned away for their inability to donate. For ages 59 and younger, the cost is $10 also. Please call or text us at (970) 264-2167 to make a reservation.

Meals on Wheels

We deliver fresh Meals on Wheels five days a week (and provide frozen Meals on Wheels for weekends) to homebound Archuleta County residents. Call or text us at (970) 264-2167.

Mobile food pantry
service discontinued

The Mobile Food Pantry Service has been discontinued due to funding shortages. Older adults needing a ride to a local food pantry should contact the MET to schedule a ride with their paratransit service. For more information, contact Lavonne at (970) 264-2250.

Text reservations

Don’t forget that we offer a convenient texting service for you to communicate with us. Text us at (970) 264-2167. When texting, please include your name, phone number and the days you want a meal. If you are canceling a reservation, please include your name, phone number and the days you want to cancel. 

Texting services are available for dine-in meal reservations, Grab-n-Go meals and Meals on Wheels recipients.

COVID-19 test
kits available

Stop by the Senior Center to pick up a pack of six free COVID-19 tests kits for your personal use. These kits are available to anyone in the public who needs affordable access for health promotion and disease prevention.


Mahjong is a 19th century Chinese tile-based game that is commonly played with four players. Each player receives 13 tiles with a goal to make matching sets and pairs (like poker). To win, a player must form four sets and one pair. 

Come to the Senior Center to learn or play every Tuesday at 1:15 p.m.

Medicare call by

For anyone who needs help enrolling and navigating Medicare plans, the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging helps with parts A, B and D. They can also help you with fraud concerns and troubleshooting any billing issues you may be having. By appointment only. Please call the Medicare line at (970) 264-0501, ext 4. 


The longest-played bridge game in Archuleta County takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:15 p.m. 

Bridge is a four-player card game with partners sitting opposite each other around a table. It is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. Come alone or bring a partner.

Hand and foot card game

Whether you are new to hand and foot or interested in learning, please join us most Thursdays at 1:15 at the Senior Center. 

This card game involves four rounds of playing until the final round is reached — some two to three hours later. Plan to stay and meet some new friends or catch up with those you have missed over the last couple of years. 

No experience is necessary, so come willing to learn. 

Donations requested

ASI has an immediate monetary need to support ongoing operations and programming that provide critical services to some of the most vulnerable in Archuleta County. Please consider donating. 

You may mail your donation to P.O. Box 3444, Pagosa Springs CO 81147 or please visit our website: http://www.psseniors.org/. Donation checks can be written to: Archuleta Seniors Inc. We are located at 451 Hot Springs Blvd. 

For more information about ASI, please visit http://www.psseniors.org/.